Dog owners are advised to be aware of natural toxins from trees at this time of the year. The leaves of the horse chestnut tree and its conkers contain a chemical called aesculin which if ingested causes dogs to experience abdominal pain, drooling, retching, lack of appetite and lethargy. Another natural toxic ingredient, tannic acid, found in acorns from the oak tree can cause liver and kidney damage. Initial signs to watch for include vomiting and diarrhoea.
Serious concerns have been raised on social media with reports that several dogs were suspected of ingesting a toxic substance in the Happy Valley Park area of Crewkerne with some implying that a person or persons unknown had put poison on the ground to get rid of the badgers. Wildlife experts, local authorities and Vets have been unable to substantiate these recent claims. The RSPCA, local police and the town council are all aware of the concerns which dog owners in Crewkerne have raised. A spokesperson for the town council said: “Crewkerne Town Council have discussed the matter with the police and it is being investigated.”
Concerned dog owner Ceri Roper contacted the local Media after her dog JJ became violently sick less than 24 hours after exercising in the Happy Valley Park area. Ceri has recently confirmed that she has contacted the police about her concerns and that anyone whose dog has become unwell after walking in that particular area of the town and suspects that their pet may have ingested a toxic substance which does not occur in nature, is asked to telephone 101 and ask for PC4140 Chris Purcell.
Safety measures which all dog owners can take after walking their pets is to wash their paws thoroughly. Another toxic substance to watch out for during the colder months is anti-freeze. Drops of anti-freeze left on the ground are particularly appealing to cats and dogs because of its sweet taste but if licked or ingested can have serious health consequences. The advice from animal experts is to be aware of the natural occurring toxins and chemical spills during the autumn/winter months and keep your pets safe.